Northampton railway station opens after three month delay

Northampton Station
Image caption MP Brian Binley called the new station a "massive improvement"

A new railway station that was delayed for more than three months has finally opened its doors.

The £20m facility in Northampton had been due to open on 6 October but was delayed while Network Rail worked through a "snagging list".

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it will "make a huge difference to the way people feel about travelling".

Demolition of the old station will finish later this year, and work is due to start on a multi-storey car park.

Network Rail's route services director James Dean apologised for the delays and called the new building "wonderful".

Image caption The first tickets being bought in the new station building
Image caption Tickets are available from the new Northampton Station

He said the late opening had been due to a combination of "initial construction problems," time spent on an archaeological dig, problems with sewers and legal issues to do with power supply.

Northampton South MP Brian Binley, who had been critical of Network Rail over the delay, said he was "delighted" it was finished.

He said it would be a "massive improvement" for commuters and for those setting up a business in Northampton.

Work will now start on bringing Starbucks, WH Smith and Cafe Republic into the building.

Image caption The old Northampton Station building will be demolished
Image caption County council leader Jim Harker called the new station "a fitting gateway for the town"

London Midland spokesman Francis Thomas said the station was "looking fabulous".

Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh said it was a statement of the authority's intent to ensure the town is recognised as one of the most progressive places in the country.

And Northamptonshire County Council leader Jim Harker said the new building is "a fitting gateway for the town".

South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) funded infrastructure around the new site.

Chairwoman Dr Ann Limb said the station would "encourage new businesses to locate in Northampton".

The 1,300 space car park will also feature a bridge, connecting it with the upper level of the new station.

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